Quick thoughts: Perfect

Perfect is a relative term. Nothing is ever perfect, but sometimes there’s a simple perfection to the imperfect nature of things, and perfect becomes exactly what’s happening in those moments.

It’s not perfect when it’s a million degrees outside plus humidity, and I forget all my good makeup in NYC for a wedding in Connecticut, and we leave for Norway in less than a week and I have to teach two classes and there is no time for anything. It’s not perfect when A is in pain because of his back and I’m not going to see him till we’re at the airport on Friday and I forgot my work laptop at home this morning and my 6:30am Uber driver won’t stop talking on the ride from Forest Hills to Washington Heights and all I want to do is sleep. It’s not perfect when I’m about to leave my cat and my new job and my everything except for A for 11 days and I’m so terrified and anxious about it.

But it’s all perfect. It was perfect to watch my oldest friend marry his soul mate, even in the million degree heat, even without my good makeup. It’s perfect that after two months of barely seeing each other because life is so busy that A and I get almost two full weeks with just each other. It’s perfect that I’m teaching classes this week before I leave because that’s something that makes me happier than just about everything, and it’s perfect.

It’s perfect. It’s perfect just because it is. Because we are. Because you are. It’s all relative. But it’s all perfect too.

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Wedding Dos and Don’ts: 2015 Guest Edition

Any long-ish time readers of the blog know that the past year for me has basically centered around one thing and one thing only: other people’s weddings. For the past 12 months, and the last 5 in particular, my life has been a blur of bachelorette parties and bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, navy dresses or skirts and so much travel, all to celebrate some of the people I love the most saying I Do to the person they love most of all. It’s been a wonderful year, filled with happiness and love and wonderful memories, and it’s also been a year with a few *questionable* teaching moments for yours truly.

As someone who has been a bridesmaid, maid-of-honor, guest, and combination of all three across four weddings this fall, I feel fairly well qualified to provide a list of tips and tricks for how to have the best time. Each wedding I went to in the past five months was amazing in its own way: how do you top a freaking bagpipe-led parade down Fifth Avenue in our black-tie best? A ski lift during cocktail hour? An entire weekend with no open container laws? Or trying to out-crazy a bunch of drunk NYPD officers and rugby players? Answer: you don’t. I could never choose between four of the most fun nights of my life.

So here you go kids: My list of top wedding Dos and Don’ts:

DON’TS

  • DON’T drink too much at the rehearsal dinner. It may or may not lead to losing your phone in an Uber, losing your dignity around your friend’s extremely fancy family, losing an entire glass of red wine on your shoes or jumping so exuberantly on your sister the bride the morning of her wedding (read: still a lil drunk) when you guys wake up that she spends her big day with a massive bruise on her knee.
  • DON’T have a panic attack about your outfit. First, if R’s maid of honor still got a dress in time for the wedding after her original dress was ruined in Texas flooding like SIX WEEKS before the big day… your outfit will be fine. This also goes for guests – though I will condone impulse-buying sequin pants ONLY after your three closet dresses and two rented back-ups don’t fit.
  • DON’T freak out if you have a million weddings. Yes, they’re expensive and stressful and sometimes the food is terrible (*not the case for any of mine this year but I hear it happens), but it’s the happiest day of someone’s life. Once you see the couple looking at each other as they say “I do,” all the stress and money is worth it.
  • DON’T FORGET BOOB TAPE. I can’t stress this enough. There was not a single wedding I went to this year where that didn’t come in some form of handy.
  • DON’T take it too seriously. Some of the best parts of R and T’s weddings were in the mornings as we all got ready together. I have to say, in my head I assumed it was going to be this frenzy of activity, everyone freaking out and trying to calm down an anxious bride. Instead we were all quite calm, happily sipping on champagne and listening to music until it was about that time to get dressed. Things are going to happen on a wedding day that you can’t control, but you can control your reaction. Just let them happen, and remember to have fun.

DOS

  • DO have snacks. Snacks in the bridal suite, snacks in your hotel room, snacks in your purse before the ceremony – SNACKS. I know it’s tempting to eat nothing before the wedding to “save yourself” for the cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres or dinner, but that’s really poor planning. Bring snacks, and just assume you’re going to overeat. It’s okay. We won’t judge.
  • DO reuse accessories! I spent *probably* too much money new pair of shoes for R’s wedding but ended up wearing them to every other wedding I attended this year, and the higher quality was totally worth it. Same with earrings I bought for T’s wedding – probably spent too much and didn’t end up wearing them for her, but I’ve already worn them to two weddings and a holiday party this year. It’s worth it to plan ahead and spend a little extra on nice things if you have a lot of weddings or events.
  • DID I MENTION BRING BOOB TAPE. I’m not kidding it’s a lifesaver. Or a boob saver. Decency-saver? Well maybe not that last one if you’re like me and decide to drink whiskey. But seriously… bring boob tape.
  • DO get on the dance floor! I was SHOCKED at two of the weddings how many guests seemed embarrassed to dance once the band/DJ got going. It’s a wedding – dance like a fool, who cares! All eyes are on the happy couple anyway. And if you are the happy couple, dance like a fool – you just got married, so who cares!
  • DO take risks. The scariest thing I’ve done in a long time was attend an out-of-town wedding alone while wearing sequined pants, and it may have turned into the best decision I’ve ever made.

So there it is kids! My lessons from weddings this year. I would have done a PLD Montage but aside from the aforementioned rehearsal dinner mishaps, there weren’t really any terrible decisions on my end. I even had half a vodka shot and didn’t cry or lose anything!  It’s been such a wonderful year of love and new beginnings, and pleasant surprises. To all the new wives and husbands in my life, you’ve made this year unforgettable for me and I can’t thank you enough for planning such incredible weekends.

But also, thank you all for getting married within five months of each other. I’m for sure looking forward to a LONG break from those gold shoes.

Page One

My final wedding of the year took place in New Jersey last Friday night, for a girl that I suppose I have to describe as a “work friend,” but truly she’s so much more. We worked together while I was at my last firm, and we’ve stayed close – she always joked I’d be invited to the wedding, but it was still a(n awesome) surprise to receive the official invite in the mail a few months back. I mean, she easily could have given the invite to another distant family member, another friend of her husband’s, but she chose to have me there, and I couldn’t have been more honored. Terrified, to be fair, as I made my way down the hotel elevator to the shuttle bus alone, feeling the full weight of knowing not a single soul at that wedding, but honored and excited all the same.

My fears of basically crashing a wedding with an invitation were totally unfounded, and within three minutes of sitting on the bus, I’d made a friend, and I kept meeting awesome, fun, wonderful new people all night, who embraced me as their own and did their best to make sure I had fun. I looked around at one point at the afterparty, and realized it felt almost comfortable. It felt like I was supposed to be there, like I’d known everyone there for years and maybe it wouldn’t have been the same if I weren’t there. I’m sure it would have been – or perhaps everyone was just blinded by my sequined pants. But it felt that way nonetheless.

Two days later, in an attempt to sweat out the rest of my hangover from the most aggressive partying I’ve done since my very early single days (#jersey), I went to a Bikram yoga class in Harlem and found myself meditating on the fact that I hadn’t felt that in a really long time, like maybe it would have been different if I weren’t there. It’s a hard feeling to explain – it’s not that I’m linking that statement to a particular occasion or even group of friends or family. But to be so wholly embraced by these strangers as a friend, to have the bride single me out in a wedding of nearly 200 people for a dance and many selfies, just to feel like I was with a group of people that were so happy I was there, it all felt foreign, in a great and terrible way.

Replaceable. We replace our dishes, we replace our clothes, we replace our apartments and we replace our friends. Sometimes we grow out of things or we break them, sometimes things outgrow us or walk away. Everything, mostly, is replaceable, whether we want to believe that or not; it’s nice to think we’re all going to live in the same place forever and we’re going to work the same job forever and we’re going to be best friends forever, but when you account for all the growing up we do in such short periods of time, it makes sense that sometimes we just need to move on. Imagine reading the same book over, and over, and over, doing the same thing over, and over, and over. Eventually it’s time for a new book, because the old one is worn out or you don’t like it anymore. Lately I’ve felt like that book, worn out and no longer relevant. Replaceable, if you will.

I stopped by to see my M&N, the newlyweds, after work this week so I could catch them up on the juicy wedding details, and she made a comment that’s stuck with me. After I mentioned how much fun I’d truly had, despite not knowing anyone, she laughed and said “of course you did! It was the first wedding this year where you could basically just turn up and say I’M HERE!” She meant it more like I wasn’t on bridesmaid/maid-of-honor duty for the first time, but I heard it on a different level. The wedding was a blank slate. I was a blank slate, page one of a new book. All the bullshit of the past six months, two years, five years, ten years, no one knew any of it. No one knew who I used to be, no one knew what it took me to become this person.

They just knew me as me. The Me now, this me that I’m carrying with me into 2016. It was a new page in the Book of LB, a blank slate, replacing the prejudices of the past two, five, seven years and starting over. And it felt nice to be on Page One of something again. In fact, I’d say that feeling is irreplaceable.

ten.27

I have a confession to make. Six months ago, when I agreed on this past Tuesday as the date to be my next forever, I remember the entire process except for one crucial thing: I can’t remember how I came up with the idea in the first place. I remember every step of the process after making the first decision, the consultation, setting the date, imagining left and right what my forearm would look like in just a few months’ time, but I can’t remember for the life of me where I had the idea in the first place. All I know is six months ago I made this decision that this past week would be one of permanent and major changes – little did I know exactly how right I’d be.

Anyway, once I had it in my head that this past Tuesday was happening, three days after the wedding in the midst of a much-needed staycation, I started doing something to make sure I was making the right decision, which has probably become apparent in some of the crazier things I’ve said on the blog lately: I’ve finally turned full yoga hippie because every month now I’m tracking the moon cycles. I know, I know. It’s almost too clichéd to be a cliche. But in tracking these cycles I’ve learned a few things that have become invaluable knowledge, in this week of permanent alterations to the status quo: first, there’s a beauty in the chaos of the cycle of life, knowing that things must always balance out but never knowing how it’s going to happen; and second, I know now that deep down, even in the darkest of times, the tides will always shift and everything is going to be okay.

I found it interesting that Tuesday was a full moon, and allegedly a powerful one, on the year that I had the exact activity for that Tuesday planned. I already knew it was going to be a weekend of major changes that I hadn’t even begun to comprehend, the permanent altering of life in so many ways, T changes her last name and I change my right forearm. But oddly enough, while I was in the car driving up to Massachusetts for the big wedding weekend for Twinster, I had this feeling that something was about to happen and it was not going to be good. I can’t explain it; I was thinking about all the upcoming changes around this powerful energy, and I just had this horrible feeling that something was going to happen, and truly the word that wouldn’t get out of my head was “death.” It was an terrible yet interesting sort of premonition, because despite this ominous, scary feeling, I also knew one thing for sure: whatever I was feeling was not going to interfere with the wedding.

The wedding. T’s wedding. Where I watched my other half become someone else’s other half (as mentioned in my maid-of-honor speech, which KILLED by the way). The weekend couldn’t have been more perfect, the freezing weather as a perfect backdrop to peak fall colors as we rode the chairlift up the mountain and back during cocktail hour; the way they smiled and laughed every time they looked at each other, and how much fun it was to meet people who, for the first time, had a hard time telling T&me apart. The food was delicious, the band was phenomenal, and the end of the night was the bridal party plus guests in a hotel suite in sweatpants, drinking the final few beers leftover from the limos and eating the Chex mix from the hotel gift bags. It was, in the only word that comes close to describing the weekend, perfect.

I left the weekend with this amazing new-found happiness, appreciation, and understanding of family. It was such a brilliant crowd of people, and it made me so excited for everything next year. I had Tuesday to look forward to, now that it was a real thing, and I had three days of vacation ahead in that as well. It sucks when your family, after this perfect and wonderful weekend, gets a call that something happened that is absolutely no one’s fault and was completely unavoidable. But it sucks when the family that has just spent 48 hours smiling until our faces hurt and then a little more finds out the fourth sibling, the one that kept our parents sane after we all moved out, the crazy sibling who barked at anything that moved and loved to hoard stuffed animals and sticks of butter, left us forever, just as one of us said forever and I looked forward to a Tuesday of my own forever as well.

Tattoo by the ENORMOUSLY talented Mikhail Andersson (www.tattookarma.com; Instagram: @mikhailandersson)

I felt a bit numb when Tuesday finally came around, which even translated into a physical symptom as my arm lay in an uncomfortable position for just around 90 minutes, hanging out in a private studio with someone who is practically an old friend at this point. But I never let that sink in, the numb energy, and I reminded myself why it meant so much to have this image permanently etched to my skin. And so as all these new beginnings were happening, life without the fourth sibling, life as the only B daughter, l watched as my big new beginning, the one I can’t remember how it came to be, marked so much more than I could have imagined in a beautiful line down my forearm. It marked this new life I’m following and finding myself in ways I’ve chased for years. As I stare down at my arm now I’m reminded of so much more than I could have imagined, some wonderful and some very challenging, but all wrapped into why I wanted to immortalize something on myself in the first place: to remember that life moves in cycles, and there will always be balance if you have patience. And most importantly, that even as things feel impossible now, everything is going to be okay.

Quick Thoughts: October

Hello beautiful readers! Have you enjoyed the Draft Series so far? I’ve had such fun rereading these old drafts and putting them up. It’s so funny how some details stay with you for a long time, and other times I can’t imagine for the life of me how I was planning to finish a sentence or a thought.

I’ve missed blogging, but to be honest, this break has been really welcome. I took a break from a lot earlier this month: wasn’t really on Instagram, didn’t do as much yoga, didn’t try to overexert myself. It’s been nice so far, stepping back from everything to regain perspective on why they made me happy in the first place. That’s not to say the month hasn’t been a whirlwind – M’s bachelorette party and N and M’s wedding shower, H’s birthday, work events and the general lead-up to this weekend, where Twinster says “I do.” I’ve had all these ideas for entries and stories to tell, cryptic hints about ten.27 and what happens when I drink whiskey after promising myself I’d make it home early (and alone), how to react when you tell someone important “I’m changing my whole life!” and their response is “Okay.” I’ve got lots of content planned for November that touches on all of those things and then a few more, and I’m so excited to get back to putting up new, complete entries to catch everyone up on where I’ve been.

Last year, just before the time where we all kiss at midnight and wish each other happiness for the twelve months to come, I made the decision that this year would be about everyone else. This was the year of R’s wedding and T’s wedding, and the year I knew M and N would be engaged. This was not going to be a year about me, no dating, no big changes; I wanted all of my time and energy to focus on the people I love and watch their happiness become everyone’s. Things are starting to come to fruition now, the weddings have happened or are about to, and I haven’t made any big changes for myself, save for chopping off all my hair in the spring. In focusing on everyone else, though, somehow I’ve set in place a plan for next year that’s all about me. Next year is so rapidly approaching that I feel claustrophobic at times at how quickly time is closing around us, and yet I still want time to move faster, so excited for the events left this year, so excited for all the big events planned for next year.

But all things in time! No more hints for now. For now, this is just a quick post to say hello, is it me you’re looking for? Because I’m still here, and I’m working on making November a fantastic month here at this Chronicle. Look for Draft Series posts the rest of this month, while I’m busy fulfilling Maid of Honor duties and taking care of something I’ve been looking forward to since May.

And in the meantime, let me just say: thank you to everyone reading. I love you. You’re perfect. And I hope you stick around.

xo,
LB

When you’re stuck outside an unlocked door.

Right now it’s just before 9pm on Monday night and I’m sitting outside my unlocked apartment door unable to get in. I’m sweating from having walked up five flights of stairs twice in under 10 minutes and my poor kitty is crying on the other side of the door because she can hear her mama and it’s breaking my heart. I’m exhausted. I spent most of my workday in meetings, and then had to work late to finish everything that had come up while in those meetings, and then I left the office ten minutes before I could get them to pay for a cab home, and honestly most of those things didn’t bother me too badly but this freaking door!! This is nearly three years where it finds a perfect moment to jam into its hinges and refuse to give me the sweet release of a slow yoga flow on my mat and a cuddle with little miss on the couch. I sighed, leaned against the wall and slid down next to the door frame, waiting for my super to deign to come upstairs and help me out. It’s been a long day, and after such a perfect weekend, and as I was writing this post to complain and be mopey and all that, I’m realizing that this actually is not the end of the world, and hey – at least the door was fine all weekend.

This weekend. I have to admit that while I was excited on the one hand for this weekend, the annual reunion for my college girlfriends, I really, really needed a break. It was the first weekend since mid-August where I would be able to spend any significant amount of time in my own apartment, and I had to share it. Yes I was sharing with my two favorite people, but prior to this weekend, I was wishing for just one weekend to myself, where I could actually relax and enjoy and do nothing. Fortunately, it took all of five seconds between seeing my soul sister E walk up to my office door before we went out for dinner before I realized how happy I was for this weekend; and as my anchor G finally came up the stairs just before 2 in the morning after a long day of travel, I realized this weekend was exactly what I’d needed.

Time moves slowly when you’re with those kinds of people. The people that know you better than you know yourself, the ones that know your highest highs and your deepest lows. We took Saturday as it came, walked the Brooklyn Bridge which I’d never done, went to the 9/11 memorial which they’d never done. It was a slow day of walking and chatting and selfies, celebrating E’s recent engagement, G’s new job and my big news with champagne toasts at the W in the afternoon; I don’t know that there was even a minute that wasn’t filled with someone talking, laughing. Saturday night was not nearly as messy as years of these trips in the past – though okay, there may have been an interesting conversation on Sunday morning where *someone* got a text from a number she didn’t recognize and thus sparked a debate between us three of “Which Guy Is Texting You?” – but it was just enough messy for us to film a ridiculous Snapchat in the cab ride home, slurring about how much we love each other and how this was definitely the best weekend ever.

Back on the floor of my apartment building after a long Monday, my super finally made his way up the stairs, gave me his usual look of pity and annoyance, and then asked for the key. He inserted the key, turned with the knob, and then pushed the door open with ease. Oops. I gave him a sheepish grin as I scurried inside to grab the cat, and relaxed on my chair while the super fixed the doorknob once again. I went back to thinking about happy thoughts from the weekend, something I’m glad I did while slumped against the wall earlier, since it appears this was all a non-issue anyway. I’m so stoked for the next year, where my travel for everyone’s wedding will be done and I can focus all my attention and energy on E’s. I mean, I’ve known these girls for going on ten years, ten YEARS and for everything that’s happened in the past few weeks, and months, and really, years, they are the constant in my life that can make me smile. This was a crazy Monday, but it comes after a perfect weekend – the kind you don’t know you need until you live it, and the kind that can make you remember that there are people out there that will love you and support you, no matter what.

Just once more.

Last night I was sitting on my couch, mentally preparing to re-enter the real world after the wedding weekend extravaganza and scrolling through the shared photo album one more time to relive the event. I wish I could go into detail here about the entire weekend, how I’ve never seen any of my friends look so happy, and there aren’t even words for the looks on R and H’s faces from the moment they saw each other across the church. But truly it’s their story to tell – not mine – and it took me two days to recover from the emotional high of every minute of their day. But with such wonderful memories comes a few embarrassing ones for me from the rehearsal dinner, to no one’s surprise, and it’s had me thinking a lot about the changes I’ve made since my birthday last year. Because let’s just say, when you’re less than a week from turning 27 and your friends are still starting stories from the night before with “No it’s okay, you only threw up in the Uber a little bit” and “how do you not remember trying to kiss the best man?!”, that’s just a *bit* of an issue.

It’s getting harder to make these PLDs. Not in actually making the decision – I’m quite good at doing dumb things– but in the aftermath. It’s starting to feel like a chore, cleaning up after the things I do when I’m making them. It’s losing important things like a wallet or a phone, or accidentally making out with different strangers because I’m trying to distract myself from who even knows what. There’s a part of me that appreciates I’ve had the chance to be such a crazy person in this city because I have the most incredible support system, but the rest of me is ready to no longer require a friend to reassure me that I didn’t ruin everything while I’m in tears in a cab, frustrated and ashamed at actions that could have been avoided if I’d just listened to myself and slowed down.

When I moved to New York City back in 2010, I was this person who knew one thing really well: that I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I got a job in an industry I didn’t study in college, I took an apartment from Craigslist because it was close to my brother and frankly, there wasn’t even much of a thought process to NYC, only because I’d always told myself if I could live there, I would. And now five years later, I’m looking back on these unbelievable memories and half-memories, people I used to see all the time, places I haven’t been in years. I’ve watched my life evolve in ways I’d never have expected, and yet the one thing that’s stayed constant is making dumb fucking decisions that cause shame flashbacks for days, or sometimes weeks, on end.

Last night as I sat on my couch, I had a silly decision to make. Since the Whole30 in April, I almost never keep wine in the apartment anymore, after years of always having a bottle around “just in case.” Since essentially eliminating occasional glasses of booze on weeknights, I’ve felt like a teenager learning my limits as I’m out drinking with friends, trying to reconcile the reduced tolerance that comes with age and nights dedicated to yoga hours instead of happy hours. I’ve enjoyed not drinking the way that I used to, because I think it’s helped me push through some emotional baggage and physical milestones, and since not drinking on weeknights I’ve found a lot of clarity in things that used to cause anxiety. But last night, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to crack into a bottle my parents gave me ages ago, just to enjoy a glass while relaxing like old times. It’s funny to look at something as simple as having a glass of wine at home on a weeknight as something powerful and nostalgic, but it feels like I haven’t been that person who did that in a long time.

I stared at the bottle for a minute, and had a very distinct thought: I want to be that girl, just once more. Just for something as simple as tonight, at home in pajamas after watching two of my closest friends get married, I wanted to be the girl that danced on bars and remembered every minute with pride, the girl who had an extra glass of wine with a friend on a weeknight because we were young and hangovers seemed worth it. I wanted to be the early twenties LB in the smallest possible way for just a few minutes. Because I’ve realized very quickly in the past month that I’m not the same person I was anymore, I’m just not. And that means a lot of things are about to change. But for a brief moment, alone in my apartment on a Monday night, I wanted to be that same person – just once more.

Quick Thoughts: Scary Thoughts

When your relationship of nearly four years falls apart, a lot runs through your head. “What could I have done differently?” and “What am I going to do now?” are two big ones, but “Who am I going to hang out with?” is the scary one, especially if you were someone like me, who wrapped up so much of her life in her significant other. It’s scary for a little while, to be on your own for the first time as an adult, but maybe if you’ve got half my good luck, you’ll have a friend who was a part of your life step in, almost out of nowhere, and suddenly your whole life changes.

When your single partner-in-crime of just four months tells you “I met a guy!” a lot runs through your head. “”Is she going to leave me?” and “What if he doesn’t like me?” are two things that come to mind, but “What if I lose my best friend?” is the scary one, especially if you were someone like me, who had never been single in her 20s and was expecting a lot more time with her showing me the ropes of the bad bar scene in NYC. It’s scary for a little while, when they start dating and it’s serious, but maybe if you’ve got half my good luck, you’ll realize from day one that this guy is someone different, and he fits in the group like he was meant to find us, and suddenly your whole life changes.

When you wake up the morning before their big day, a lot runs through your head. “I can’t believe it’s already here!” and “Oh god I’m already nervous” are two of the first thoughts that pop in your head, but “I’m so fucking excited for them!” is the big one. Because maybe sometimes when your life changes in ways you’d never imagined in such a short period of time, it’s scary, and all sorts of terrible thoughts run through your head. But then again, if you’ve got even an iota of my good luck, you’ll be staring down a weekend dedicated to two people you love more than anyone celebrating how they love each other above all else.

So here’s to love, bridesmaids dresses that decidedly don’t suck and a weekend with friends in fancy gear watching two people say two words before taking the first steps into forever. My R&H, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to you two, and I wish you a life of perfect surprises – most especially, the ones that start out as scary thoughts.

Friendly Conversations: Cuatro

I’m dedicating this to my parents, because the below is solid proof that I was raised without any form of a filter. Now please enjoy another snapshot of your average, everyday friendly conversations.

On conditional love
Mama B: Babe I’ll support you no matter what you do.
Me: I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that, I was so nervous to tell you about…
Mama B: EXCEPT IF YOU GET MORE TATTOOS.

On crowning achievements
Friend: So…. until recently,  you were a white girl that did not like rose?
Me: Yep.
Friend: Lifetime should do a biopic about you.

On accessorizing
Me: I’m so glad we got the belt for my maid-of-honor dress, it needed a little sparkle.
Mama B: I think my dress needs something too, but not a belt. Maybe like a pin or something?
Papa B: You should wear the Star Wars federation badge.
Mama B: OMG! Perfect. Will you buy it for me??

On conditional love (Pt. 2)
Mama B: But seriously no more tattoos.
Me: There’s more coming, it’s fine, you’ll get used to it.
Mama B: Please don’t get another visible one.
Me: What’s the point of spending all that money if no one can see them?
Mama B: FLOWERS BELONG IN A VASE NOT ON YOUR RIBS.

On wedding events
Twinster: I want all my shower presents pre-opened so we can get through that shit quickly. Like, paper ripped, ribbons cut..
Mama B: Don’t break the ribbons!!! There’s an old Irish saying that you’ll have a child for every one that breaks.
Me: If the ribbon breaks?
Twinster: Mmmm sorry Mom, I think you’re referring to condoms.

On weekends at home
Family friend: Alright girl, your mom and I are on a mission to set you up. Really quick name three physical qualities you like in a guy GO!
Me: Uhhhh beard, tattoos and a man bun.
Mama B: Like his butt?!
Me: Omg Mom like the hairstyle.
Mama B: You have weird taste in men maybe that’s why you’re single.

On conditional love (Pt. 3)
Mama B: What are they going to look like when you’re older?!?!?
Me: MAHM. We’re done talking about my tattoos, present and future.
Mama B: You weren’t serious about getting more though, right?
Me: This conversation is over.
Mama B: I HATE THEM SO MUCH.

PLD Montage Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

To say my life has been taken over by weddings this year is a massive understatement. In the full volume of people that I hold dear to my heart, there are only two other single people, with everyone else now either engaged or married – and most of them are getting married this year. Though we planned an amazing weekend bachelorette/bridal shower combo for my partner-in-crime R back in June, this last weekend was a much bigger undertaking, wherein I needed to plan a bridal shower and bachelorette weekend for my twin sister. And truly, the weekend went better than I could have imagined, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well.. okay. Maybe I would have *tweaked* just a few moments….

I give you: PLD Montage, Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

  • We had a full house at my parents’ the night before the wedding, with myself, my lovely friend M, T, three of her friends, my parents and my sister’s almost-in-laws. The original plan for the night was for all of us to enjoy a nice, relaxing dinner together, and then M and I would head to a dear family friend’s house, where the shower was being held the next day, so we would each have a bed for the night and then could be there early for set-up. M and I both had stressful Fridays – she was coming in from NYC and her plans changed abruptly two hours before her train left, where I mismanaged my time and was somehow running errands from 9am till 430pm – so when the wine came out for dinner, we gratefully accepted. And accepted… and accepted….
    Lesson learned: If you don’t pace yourself with alcohol on a night you’re supposed to drive to sleep somewhere else, you end up sleeping on the floor of the house family room, where the calming noise of crashing dishes being washed at 5:30am will wake you from a Merlot-fueled restless sleep.
  • We all woke up bright and early the next morning (yours truly at the aforementioned 5:30am), shared coffee and breakfast on the deck in the beautiful weather, and planned to get to the shower location by around 10am for last minute set-up and to heat up the food. I was starting to get somewhat eager/anxious for the rest of the weekend, so my usual two-to-three cups of coffee somehow turned into four and a half. Then I had to get in a convertible and drive the 10 minutes to the shower location with my recently-done hair and flowers picked from the garden, all while in a black dress in the sunshine.
    Lesson learned: Coffee makes you sweaty and shaky, which doesn’t help when you’re driving a convertible with sun beating down on your black dress, which in turn makes you more sweaty, and also convertibles mess up hair. TL;DR: No part of my morning was well thought-out or planned.
  • Set-up actually went incredibly smoothly, and we had popped the first bottle of champagne by 11am, drinking slowly to savor the last few minutes of calm before the 40+ guests arrived. The main event of the shower, the CREPE TRUCK, was running late, but eventually made it, and I was really looking forward to a ham and cheese crepe, as I hadn’t eaten much that morning due to nerves and too much coffee. Then crepe truck man proceeds to tell us that he has: forgotten ice, forgotten all of the savory ingredients, brought one can of whipped cream for 40 people, informed us that setting up the stand was going to take 40 minutes, oh, and he let it slip that he may have been “a little hungover.”
    Lesson learned: Always trust and emulate your mother – not only had Mama B planned ahead and made enough quiche and salad to feed an army (“just in case people don’t want crepes!”), but after exchanging a few words Idiot Crepe Boy, she got them to waive the fee for the truck and send us an IOU for our next party. She’s the best.
  • A few weeks before the shower, T and I were texting and she sent the most bridezilla thing that’s come out of her mouth since getting engaged: “Dude, I’m at a shower and we’ve been sitting in the sun for almost two hours watching someone open presents. If we don’t set a record for gift-opening since you’ll be pre-opening everything for me, you’re fired as my maid of honor,.” Challenge accepted.
    Lesson learned: With a joint effort between the bridesmaids, we had every damn gift opened, cataloged and stored for the taking in under 45 minutes. BOOM.
  • I woke up the next morning after the Moulin Rouge themed bachelorette party that followed the shower, and sighed loudly. M and I had shared the futon in the office for the night, and as it was 7:30am, I inched my way out of the bed so as not to wake her so I could survey the damage in the house and start cleaning before everyone else woke up for breakfast. In walking into the kitchen, the sun was just starting to peek over the treetops in the backyard, calling us to the deck for a slow morning with good friends and laughs about the night before. The house was already clean, a joint effort from all the girls there, and as everyone slowly emerged from the various sleeping locations around the house, we all had laughs and good memories from the two parties the day before. The one thing that was missing? Almost no one took pictures from the bachelorette.
    Lesson learned: Maybe it sucks when you can’t Instagram all of the decorations and hard work that you put into a bachelorette party for your twin sister, but when everyone is having too much fun to stop and stare at a cell phone, you know it’s been a hell of a night.

Two wedding shower/bachelorette weekends down, one to go – next up, H and R’s wedding!!